Tuesday, 14 June 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
826. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science her plans to meet the primary school place needs of parents seeking a multi-denominational educational ethos in Naas, County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20097/05]
Minister for Education and Science (Ms Hanafin): In September 2004 in accordance with the procedures for the recognition of new primary schools, Educate Together, the national umbrella body for multi-denominational schools in Ireland, submitted a notification of its intention to apply to open a new primary school in Naas in September, 2005. However, this notification was not followed up with a formal application which was required to have been submitted by 31 January, 2005 and, consequently, the proposed school will not open this year.
In the circumstances, the pupil referred to would be eligible to apply for school transport to the nearest multi-denominational school in the area. The parent of the pupil should contact the school transport section of my Department for full details in this regard.
827. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science the position and her plans for the future provision of full primary and post-primary school facilities in line with requirements set out by the schools authorities and by reference to demographic trends with a view to ensuring that all children at primary or second level can be offered places as required at Naas, County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20098/05]
Minister for Education and Science (Ms Hanafin): I am aware that Naas, like many areas located within close proximity to Dublin, continues to experience population growth, a position that almost inevitably places some strain on existing educational provision. However, a range of significant measures has been undertaken by my Department to address the current and future need for pupil places in the Naas area.
Specifically, at primary level, an entire new school has been provided at Killashee while temporary accommodation has been provided at Scoil Corbain, St. Conleth’s and St. Mary’s NS and St. Conleth’s Naofa. Temporary accommodation has also been provided at one of the two nearby national schools at Caragh. In addition approval has been given to St. Corban’s, Gaelscoil Nás na Riogh and Killashee for additional temporary accommodation for September 2005.
Additionally, there are proposals to improve accommodation at St. David’s national school and Two Mile House national school. The accommodation needs of the national schools at Ballycane, Caragh and the Convent of Mercy in Naas itself are also currently being assessed.
At post-primary level, the management authority of St. Patrick’s post-primary school, County Kildare VEC, is currently progressing plans to re-locate the school and extend capacity to 1,000 pupils. Additionally, an extension project is under construction at St. Mary’s College, which will increase capacity at that school to 900 pupils. A similar extension is under construction at Meánscoil Iognáid Rís and further accommodation needs at the school are in planning.
All of these initiatives represent huge capital investment and demonstrate my commitment to meeting the needs of the area concerned. The school planning section of my Department will keep the position under review to ensure that any additional emerging needs are met as expeditiously as possible.
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